Century-old Sheffield allotments are to become history

Darnall Allotments protest, Peter Houghton , Mark Parkin, Jennifer Houghton, & Dominic parkin
Darnall Allotments protest, Peter Houghton , Mark Parkin, Jennifer Houghton, & Dominic parkin
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ALLOTMENT holders say they have been left ‘devastated’ after their landlord served notice on them to quit their Sheffield site so it can be redeveloped.

Tenants say their plots have been in their families for generations and the request to leave has meant they have had to destroy or rehome animals kept there.

The century-old allotments on Infield Lane, Darnall, were bought from former owner, the Duke of Norfolk, by Barnsley-based E Grant Development.

The firm’s solicitor, Winder and Watts Solicitors, of West Bar, Sheffield, has now written to tenants telling them to give up their plots.

Mark Parkin, aged 41, of Norfolk Park, said: “I’ve been a tenant for 10 years and my father before me for 20 years.

“Many of my fellow neighbours have had to have animals destroyed or sold. This is devastating.”

Mr Parkin said that when E Grant bought the land five years ago, there were 26 plots.

However, as holders have died in recent years their plots have not been relet, leaving seven tenants.

Tenant Jennifer Tomlinson, of Gleadless, has been using her land to keep abandoned greyhounds she has rescued.

The 67-year-old said: “I have had to let the three eldest dogs be put to sleep and six have gone to a greyhound rescue centre. I’ve nine left which I’m going to have to re-home.”

Jennifer, who works as a cleaner and has had her plot for 14 years, said: “We initially had three months to leave although notice has now been extended to September.”

Fellow allotment-holder Peter Houghton, 45, of Stradbroke, said: “I used to grow all sorts of stuff and keep chickens and goats, but I’ve had to get rid of the animals. We’re paying more than £70 a quarter to rent a plot but, because of the notice to leave, it’s not worth planting anything.”

The tenants believe their landlord wants to develop the site for housing.

E Grant Development was unavailable for comment.

Sheffield Council said no planning application has been made for the land.